iSi began as Karl Fischer-Pochtler GmbH. In the early 19th century, it was already producing the first soda machines under the company name Carl Pochtler AG. The CO2 chargers used for making soda water and the N2O chargers for creating cream, soups, sauces, and foams make up the core product of the company's Culinary division.
The company is still family-run: Christian C. Pochtler is a direct descendant of the Fischer-Pochtler family. He has successfully led the company into the 21st century with an innovative business strategy.
How It All Began
Carl Pochtler, born in 1840, is officially recorded as being a turner and producer of surgical syringes and mechanical instruments in 1867. At this time he also begins producing siphons.
The "Chirurgische Spritzen-Sodawasser-Apparate und Syphon–Fabrik Carl Pochtler" [Surgical Syringes and Soda Water Machines and Siphon Factory Carl Pochtler] produces an extensive range of products. The company receives numerous awards at trade shows and world exhibitions.
In 1878, Carl Pochtler applies for his first patent (Pfropfenhahn).
In 1881, the company relocates to Kaiserstraße 87, in Vienna's 7th municipal district. The company's headquarters remain at this central location until 1975.
First Phase of Big Changes
After Carl Pochtler's death in 1887, his daughter, Rosa Fischer-Pochtler, is registered as the owner of the company.
In 1906, Carl Fischer, husband of Rosa Fischer-Pochtler, takes over management of the company.
Carl Fischer-Pochtler's son, Alfred, becomes the managing director in 1916. The company has over 80 employees by this time.
The company changes its legal status to a limited company and is renamed Sodawassermaschinen-, Siphons- & Metallwarenfabrik Carl Pochtler A.G.
Wartime Turmoil and Post-war Era
The company is forced to dissolve in 1940 due to the war, but in 1951 opens its doors once again to resume the production of siphons and CO2 chargers for household use. Following the death of Alfred Fischer-Pochtler in 1954, his daughter, Marietta Fischer-Pochtler, takes over his shares and the company management together with her husband Hannes.
Entering International Export Markets and Experiencing Growth
In 1959, Heimsyphon Karl Hinz und Co. Ges.m.b.H. is founded.
In 1964, the company Karl Fischer-Pochtler Ges.m.b.H acquires 100% of the shares in the company Heimsyphon Karl Hinz und Co. Ges.m.b.H. and renames it iSi Metallwarenfabrik Ges.m.b.H. This lays the cornerstone for the iSi Group's current brand name and logo.
In 1966, the first iSi disposable chargers for preparing soda water and whipped cream are launched onto the Austrian market. The export of products to various countries, European and non-European alike, then begins.
In 1975, production and administration are relocated to a newly erected factory at Kürschnergasse 4 in Vienna's 21st municipal district. This site is expanded over the next few decades and remains the current headquarters for the entire iSi Group.
In 1978, Christian C. Pochtler (fifth generation descendant of Carl Pochtler) establishes iSi Siphon of America Inc. (now iSi North America Inc.)
In 1984, he takes over all of the company's shares and management and establishes Fischer-Pochtler Holding Ges.m.b.H. (now Pochtler Industrieholding AG). He also takes over iSi GmbH.
Ferran Adrià's espuma cooking technique revolutionizes the use of iSi Whippers.
In 1990, the company Heimsyphon (formerly Heimsyphon Karl Hinz, a subsidiary of BOC) is acquired. The industrial cylinder sector is expanded to form the second pillar of the company.
In 1994, the world's largest high-tech filling center for chargers for iSi's Culinary division is commissioned and a factory for cylinders for the Components sector is built at the Kürschnergasse site.
In 1995, iSi Airbag GmbH, cornerstone of the third business sector, iSi Automotive, is founded. In 2000, iSi Airbag GmbH relocates to the new site on Scheydgasse in Vienna, the current headquarters of iSi Automotive Austria GmbH and iSi Automotive Holding GmbH.
iSi Automotive Takes Over the Airbag Business
During the automotive crisis, iSi Automotive takes over Delphi's European airbag business. iSi Automotive Berlin GmbH becomes the design and development center for the Automotive Group.
iSi Automotive Hungary Kft. expands into the textiles and later modular market.
iSi Automotive (Thailand) Ltd. takes on bag production.
iSi strengthens its three divisions, Culinary, Components, and Automotive, through innovation and specialization, as well as through internationalization via its own subsidiaries.